Professional Publishers Association publishes blog post on “no deal” Brexit and what it means for publishers

The PPA post sets out the current position on Brexit, i.e. that unless a deal with the EU is agreed and legislation changing the leaving date is passed by Parliament, the legal default position is that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October 2019.

The post goes on to analyse how prepared the UK is for a “no deal” Brexit, noting that Theresa May’s Government passed the majority of its planned legislation to mitigate the impact of a “no deal” (e.g. Customs Act, Nuclear Safeguards Act, Healthcare (EEA and Switzerland Arrangements) Act and Road Haulage Act), but that important gaps remain, with key legislation currently on the parliamentary backburner. The current Government does not want to bring forward any new legislation as it fears that MPs will seek to amend it in an attempt to block a “no deal” departure.

On the EU side, the blog post notes that it is true that it has also passed laws granting certain continuity rights for UK business, but these are unilateral measures that run to a fixed future date.

The PPA then sets out steps that publishing businesses may wish to take to prepare for “no deal”.

A recent PPA member survey showed just 23% of respondents have made any investment in Brexit planning (deal or “no deal”). Nearly a third had made some contingency plans for a no-deal scenario ahead of the original March 29 departure date, including activities such as setting up EU subsidiaries, increasing paper stocks, holding higher cash reserves, and relocating print/production to the UK.

The PPA notes that the Government is planning a £100 million new public information campaign to provide business and individuals with more information about preparing for a “no deal” exit, likely to direct people towards the dedicated government microsite, which states:

“Delivering a deal negotiated with the EU remains the government’s top priority. With an implementation period until December 2020, this would give businesses and organisations stability, certainty and time to prepare for our new relationship after Brexit.

“However, the government must plan for every possible outcome including no deal. Without a deal, businesses and organisations may need to take action before 31 October 2019.”

The site is a signpost to a suite of documents, and hosts a checklist tool as well as guidance on a range of issues.

In the meantime, the PPA says that it is working with partners across the creative industries on a number of Brexit projects. It is also speaking to government agencies and ministers and sharing views and priorities as we get closer to 31 October.

The PPA is also planning an open forum for members in September to discuss some of the key questions around “no deal” planning, bringing together experts from across the PPA’s associate members network to provide authoritative advice. To read the PPA’s blog post in full, click here.